What is network unlocking?
When a phone is locked to a certain network, it will only work with a particular provider, usually depending on who you purchased it from (e.g. vodafone).
Once your contract has expired with your current provider, your mobile will remain locked to your provider. Which requires an individual to contact their network provider and ask to be unlocked.
A uSwitch study discovered that network unlocking has enabled a massive £48million saving per year for mobile users who switch carriers for better deals.
How to check if your phone is locked?
- Insert SIM card from another carrier (which can be found via a phone shop or online)
- Restart your device
- If the name of the new network appears on your mobile, it’s unlocked!
- This can be confirmed by contacting the device (call/text)
- However, if the network name doesn’t appear, and you see ‘no service’ this most likely means your phone is still locked to a network
Reasons why to unlock your phone network
- Cheaper SIM only deals
- Once your device has been unlocked you can finally take advantage of all the exclusive SIM only deals, which are usually far better value for money – also gives you the opportunity to rapidly change providers and find the best offers available. (Best sim only deals for students)
- To pass on your (now old) phone to family and/or friends
- Because your nana won’t know how!
- For a more appealing offer when selling your phone
- Unlocked mobiles are more convenient for second-hand buyers, increasing your asking price and the speed of selling.
- To remove a specific carrier’s SIM card, allowing you to use non-carrier-specific SIMs that work best for your purposes/goals
- For example, to improve the usability of your phone when travelling abroad, thus decreasing costs
How to sim unlock your phone network?
There are various options:
- Do it yourself using a specific code, special data cable, and specialist software
- This is a good option for those who have a decent knowledge of technical know-how
- Call your network and ask them to unlock it
- They may take a while, so this is not the best option for those wanting to quickly change their provider
- Go through 21st Century Repairs Network unlocking service:
- This service is available for both iPhone and Android devices, only available for phones that are 6 months or older
“How long does it take to unlock my device?”
Various factors will influence how long, including what network you are on and the kind of phone you own. We will always try to complete this as soon as possible, and can take as little as 24 hours, or potentially 3 to 5 working days
“What details do you need?”
To start the network unlocking process we will need to know:
- IMEI number (To find out where the IMEI number is, look at our guide for iPhone and Android users → How to find your IMEI number for Apple and Android?)
- The age of your device
- What network your device is locked to.
“Do I have to give you my phone?”
You do not need to give us your phone at all; it can all be done online, from the comfort of your home. All you need to do is send us your details and we will do the rest.
Network unlocking prices
- 02 – £20
- EE – £20
- GiffGaff – £20
- ID – £20
- PlusNet – £20
- Sky – £20
- Virgin – £20
- Vodafone – £30
- Tesco – £20
- Three (3) – £20
Need your phone fixing?
21st Century Repairs is a mobile phone repair business that operates in Nottingham as a mobile phone reparation service provider.
What makes us different is that we operate in a van meaning we can be mobile and flexible to do repairs all over the city as efficient and effective as possible.
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